The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Getting Through the Barriers to Gaza


A freelance journalist currently in North Carolina, El-Haddad writes the "A Mother From Gaza" blog.

HUWAIDA ARRAF, (Cyprus/Gaza)

The Free Gaza Movement ship, "Spirit of Humanity," left Cyprus Wednesday on an emergency mission to Gaza. The group states that the ship "is expected to arrive in Gaza at 10:30 a.m. to noon (local time) Thursday. Aboard the ship are 21 passengers and crew, representing over a dozen countries. They are doctors, journalists, human rights workers, and the Hon. Joseph Nuet, member of the Spanish parliament. The mercy ship also carries desperately needed medical supplies meant for hospitals in the Gaza Strip. ...

"The Israeli military violently attacked an earlier attempt by the Free Gaza Movement to send an emergency boat filled with doctors and medical supplies to Gaza. In the early hours of Tuesday, 30 December, the Israeli navy deliberately, repeatedly, and without warning rammed the unarmed ship, the Dignity, causing significant structural damage and endangering the lives of its passengers and crew. The Dignity found safe harbor in Lebanon, and is currently awaiting repairs." See the group's web page for further information.

The group also has provided a list of contacts in Gaza (note that phone lines to Gaza are intermittent at best).

Kelly and Stewart are currently in Arish, Egypt near the border with Gaza. Kelly is co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and just wrote the piece "Cease Fire, Cease Siege."

Stewart is community advocate with the Loyola Law Clinic in New Orleans. Quigley is a law professor and director of the Loyola Law Clinic and is on his way back to New Orleans. He wrote the piece "Report from Rafah: Doctors Stopped At Borders."

Yellin and Zion each live in Sderot, Israel. Zion wrote the piece "Sderot War Diary."

Yellin has been able to get through on land lines to Gaza almost every day. He co-writes a blog with a Palestinian in Gaza.
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